Everyday Mom's Meals: One Skillet To Heart Healthier

Friday, August 15, 2014

One Skillet To Heart Healthier

As many of you know, last month we had a real scare in our family when Mr. E was hospitalized for 2 1/2 days with pulmonary emboli...also known as blood clots in the lungs. It was quite the ordeal, and now a month later I am happy report he is doing exceptionally well, and has had all good check ups at both his cardiologist and hematologist...praise be to God!

Upon being discharged from the hospital, the only dietary restrictions he had were to attempt to eat a little heart healthier, meaning lower sodium and trans fats. To be honest, it wasn't a major change in something he's already been doing. See, a few years ago at the urging of his physician, he decided to start eating better and working out. That's when his food habits began to change; and he went back to Taekwondo. Three years later, and almost 100 lbs. later, he is more fit, and healthier than he has ever been in the 17 years we've been together. I'm so proud of the changes he made in his life; and was up to the challenge to find even more ways to make his diet healthier.

In that spirit, how about a one skillet meal that has robust, fresh, bright flavor that is not only a fantastic meal for a busy weeknight, but also includes my favorite tip on adding less salt, without taking away flavor. What is that? You ask. Well, it's our trusty friend the lemon

I can't even tell you where I learned this trick, it's been so long ago, but the flavor of lemon or lemon juice hits some of the same taste buds on your tongue as that of salt, in such a way, it tricks your brain into thinking it has a salty flavor when in reality it has very little or even none. 

So there you go. A terrific new supper idea you can have on the table in almost no time at all; and a tasty little trick to keep up your sleeve any time you want to reduce the sodium but punch up the flavor! 

Lemon Chicken and Rice Skillet
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
1 1/2 c. instant white rice
1 (14 oz.) can low sodium chicken broth
1 TBS cornstarch
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 TBS butter or margarine
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 c. frozen peas
1 lemon, juiced and divided
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet or dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat. Saute chicken, onions and carrots until tender and chicken is browned, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. In a small bowl combine chicken broth, 2 TBS lemon juice and cornstarch. Add to chicken mixture. Bring to a boil, and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add rice and peas. Stir well. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 5 minutes. Check for rice tenderness. Add parsley and stir again. Just before serving, drizzle with remaining lemon juice, to taste.


Shared on The Country Cook Aug. 15, 2014

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